Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
TITLE: Consider the Lilies of the Field
By Loren T. Lowery
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On this knoll, completely encircle by a fence with a pear tree grove to its west and horse pasture to its east another world exists peacefully without markets, shops or vendors. Currency is not needed here; nor would it ever be understood.
Trampled grass is its road, wild blackberries its harvest. Red mulberries spike it with color and gladden the sweep of winging birds. God is present here, in this fern grove – this Gilead. It is a way-side cathedral, set apart for those who by fate or happenstance step across its threshold.
The play of passive light, the moisture held in the air by the wavering ferns, the deep, fragrant smell of earth, the gentle embrace of silence as the plants all seemed to hold the world at bay outside its fenced barrier.
This plot of land is remarkable no matter the season or time of day. But mornings are my most treasured moments here, before chores and horses and other demands reach out to grab me.
In the pre-dawn light, the red vine maple stands as a dark silhouette against the morning sky, her willowy branches stretching upwards like the graceful arms of a ballerina dancing to Swan Lake, but instead of white garland at the tips of her outstretched hands, it is crimson leaves, summer’s first flag of surrender to fall.
Here before day’s onset, I make a chair of an alder stump. It is quiet and peaceful with the morning dew cooling the air. Possibly as Thoreau at Walden’s Pond, I look around to see the sun touching our apple orchard; its warm kiss blushing its fruit laden limbs now bent in autumn’s haze to the ground. Bejeweled arms showing off their finest gems of topaz, rubies, garnets, peridot and emeralds.
Closer still, within reach through the fenced barrier to the east, the pear trees have hung their succulent fruit like droplets of gold. To my right, the rich earthly smell of the wild geraniums scents the air. Beside me, the mulberry bush is bright with red berries and the filbert tree to my left, now lush with fall’s new growth, miserably fails in trying to hide her bounty of clustered hazelnuts beneath her new vibrant green leaves.
Birds of all varieties flit through the brushwood and undergrowth; pelted animals burrow beneath the ground or hide in the hollows of tree and shrub; insects scurry, buzz and vainly attempt to secret themselves. Each creature called to sing and lend its voice, traveling the boundaries of their sanctuary with glad tidings; lifting their voices as joyfully as carolers at Christmas Time.
Here I am clothed with the fabric of solitude and fed by the bounty of beauty. My thirst is quenched by the streams of color flowing from the rising and setting sun. I breathe the air of ancient forests and am entertained by the choir of nature’s voice and comforted by the embrace of God’s peace.
Merchants? Shopping? Currency? It is not needed here; nor would it ever be understood.
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